Jajangmyeon (Korean Black Bean Noodles)
Our newest tradition for a BLACK FRIDAY meal is the polar opposite to everyone’s beloved Turkey & Stuffing. JAJANGMYEON couldn’t be more perfect for the day after the Big Feast, giving those precious leftovers a little space to breathe and be enjoyed later on with gusto.
A super-satisfying bowl of noodles coated with slurpy black bean sauce that’s chock-full of pork and vegetables, Jajangmyeon is Korean/Chinese comfort food at its zenith.
Lovelorn Koreans typically eat this noir dish on BLACK DAY which is “celebrated” on April 14th every year. It’s a day dedicated to single people who haven’t yet found their true love; a reverse Valentine’s Day of sorts.
I’m advocating eating Jajangmyeon on BLACK FRIDAY as well. Jajangmyeon can follow that special day of high culinary expectations and not let anyone down with its super tasty salty/sweet flavors and visually astonishing deep dark color.
Jajangmyeon (Korean Black Bean Noodles) Recipe
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 medium russet potato, peeled and diced
- 4 T. (approx) olive oil, divided
- 2/3 c. carrot, thinly sliced
- 1 c. onion, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 1/2 T. garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 T. ginger, minced
- 1/2 c. roasted black bean paste (jjajang)
- 2 T. sugar
- 1 lb. udon noodles or Korean fresh jajangmyeon noodles
- seedless cucumber
- yellow pickled radish (danmuji)
Cook ground pork in a non-stick skillet. Break up the pork into bite-sized pieces as it cooks. Transfer cooked pork to a colander to drain off the fat. Set aside.
Par-boil diced potato al dente. Remove from water and let steam escape.
Meanwhile sauté carrot and onion in olive oil to soften and slightly brown.
In another large pan, sauté al dente potato and zucchini in olive oil to slightly brown. Add garlic and ginger and continue to cook another minute.
Add a drizzle of more olive oil, cooked pork, plus carrot onion mixture to the large pan with potato zucchini mixture. Add black bean paste plus one cup of water. Sprinkle sugar over the top. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with fresh ground black pepper. Add salt only if needed as black bean paste is quite salty.
Meanwhile cook the noodles, then drain well.
Place noodles in bowls and ladle black bean sauce over the top. Garnish with cucumber and pickled radish.
Mix it all up with chopsticks and a spoon. And slurp away giving no care to the mess.
Then go shopping.